I was dealing Let It Ride to a full table and I had a Chinese husband and wife sitting right in front of me. The wife was dressed up in a nice dinner dress and she was very pretty, probably in her late 30’s. The husband was dressed in slacks and a nice collared shirt, he had a mustache that was neatly trimmed and you could tell they weren’t from America but their English was very good. I gave him his hand and he stayed right away so I proceeded to deal the game. I flipped over my first card and it was a Jack of spades, he stayed again so I flipped over my second card and it was an Ace of spades. There was silence for a minute before the wife started jumping up and down in high heel shoes screaming and grabbing her husband. The husband looked stunned. I flipped over his cards and he had a royal flush.
The floorman came over, checked the cards and then called the cameras. The hand checked out, it was a legit win. All of the bosses had to be called and it took 45 minutes before anything was done. The floorman had to put the cards back in order to make sure they were all there and then I had to spread the cards for the cameras to show that they weren’t marked. The payout was 1000 to 1, it was a $10 minimum bet and he had all 3 of his bets out there so 30 x $1,000 is $30,000. Plus he had his $1 bonus which has a payout of $20,000 for a grand total of $50,000! He tried to tip me $40 which was the rest of his money but I said, “Oh, its ok… Wait until you get paid then you can tip me.” He got paid in $1,000 chips; they took out $12,000 for taxes and gave him $38,000. He gave me a $200 tip and then he gave every player at the table $100. My tip was 0.40% of his winnings. I was really hoping for 5% which would have been $2,500. Because we have to split our tips with all the other dealers that meant my share of the $200 was $0.66.
∾ Heather 2009
I was dealing blackjack and nearly had a full table. It was great because the players at the table were all family and they were laughing, joking and having a great time. This was their first time in Las Vegas and they had no idea how to play blackjack, but they were winning and having fun so it didn’t matter. After a couple hours this old grumpy man sits down in the only spot available and starts playing $100 per hand. It was a $10 minimum table and everyone there was playing $10. Not knowing any better the family continued playing haphazardly (splitting 10’s, hitting 14 when I had a 6 up card, and so on). I don’t think I have ever seen an old guy get so red in the face. His bull dog cheeks jiggled with rage and he blew up screaming at the family, blaming them for losing his first hand. He would belligerently tell each family member how to play, all the while putting them down in between rough "lessons." These people were scared that they would do something wrong.
Finally one of the players asked me, “What am I supposed to do on this hand?” He had a 12 against my 2 up card. I said, “Well the book says to hit it, but it’s your money, you do what you want to with it.” The old asshole stood up, purple in the face and screamed at me, “How dare you tell him that! You want us all to lose! You’re a horrible dealer!” I calmly said, “Sir, how much do you think the casino pays us?” He looked slightly taken back and then answered, “Uh, $5 an hour?” I put a sarcastic smile on my face and said, “Very good! Now how do you think we pay for groceries, rent, and bills off of $5 an hour? Our tips pay for that, and if the players lose we don’t get tipped. So there is no dealer in Las Vegas that wants their players to lose.” He was silent and he had this look on his face like he couldn’t believe I was talking to him like this. He then gave me the evil eye, took his money and left. The whole table looked astonished and one of the players broke the silence by handing me a $5 chip and saying, “thank you”. After that old geezer left the family was laughing, having fun again and I got tipped much more.
∾ Heather 2007
I was dealing single deck blackjack in the high limit area and my table minimum was $200. This well known high roller and George walked in and sat down at my table. He changed in $50,000 and both my floorman and assistant shift manager, Jordan, were watching. Jordan knew this player and knew he was a George so he walked over to him, shook his hand, said hello and then leaned over and said to him, “Our policy has changed, you can’t tip the dealers here sir.” I was fuming mad but I couldn’t say anything. The high roller just nodded his head and sat down and started playing. After about 2 or 3 hands the high roller stood up, pushed his entire pile of chips towards me and said, “This is your tip.” Then he looked at Jordan and said, “Nobody is going to tell me what I can and can’t do with my money.” Then he walked away. We lost a good George that day because he never came back but I think we made about $450 in tips. That is a huge amount! The average tips we make per day is $100. A lot of dealers hated Jordan after that.
∾ Heather 2006
One of the biggest house games in the casino is Let It Ride because it has bad odds for the player. I dealt that game for 5 years and I rarely saw people win. Players need a pair of 10’s or better to win any money; there are 3 spots in which you put your money down and only one of the spots is mandatory. The player gets 3 cards and then decides if he wants to keep his bet out there (let it ride) or he can pull his bet back and those chips will no longer be in play. After he decides, the dealer flips over 1 of her 2 cards and then the process is repeated until all 5 cards are showing. The player is trying to make the best 5 card poker hand.
I was dealing Let It Ride and I had this young man with short brown hair sit down with $100. It was a $10 minimum game and that’s what he played, $10 on each spot. The very first hand he got was a pair of 10’s, which means he had an automatic winner. So he tucked his cards and I flipped over my first card and it was a 10. Now he had a 3 of a kind. Of course he stayed, so I flipped over my 2nd card and it was another 10. He got a four of a kind! That pays 50:1, so he got a total of $1,500 on his first hand. Now, since he won so much money, he started playing $50 per hand and he put a $50 tip out there for me as well (so if he wins I win). His next hand he got a pair of 5’s and a Q. He pulled back his bet so now he only had 2 bets out. I flipped over a Q and he got 2 pair. He tucked his cards and I flip over my last card and it is a 5. He got a full house and this was only his 2nd hand! A full house pays 11:1 so he got paid a total of $1,100 and I got a $550 tip! That is a huge tip! Unfortunately my supervisor thought so as well.
My floorman, Ben came over and got upset that I was tipped so much money. Ben told me that there was a cap on how much I could get tipped. See the casino thinks that when a player wins $1,000 that money isn’t gone yet because he could play a different game tomorrow and lose it all back, but when the money is tipped to the dealer it’s not coming back and the casino considers it an automatic loss. So the casino put a cap on how much a dealer can be tipped, for example on a blackjack table the player can’t bet more money for the dealer then what he is playing. (So if a player bets $10 he can’t tip the dealer $20).
Ben called the shift supervisor over and the $550 tip was definitely over the cap. Well this player yelled and screamed and argued because he wanted me to keep the entire amount. He even threatened to take his business elsewhere. The shift supervisor checked the player’s history and saw that he was a regular that always lost a lot of money. So they let it go and I got to keep my tip (but they gave me a huge scolding afterwards). Well this wonderful man who stood up for me got a straight, a flush and 2 two pairs after that. He won almost every single hand and finally walked away with $5,000. He tipped me $50 to $100 per hand. It was a great day.
∾ Heather 2007
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I was dealing on a 6-deck blackjack table and I was having a great night. I had a full table of awesome people and we were laughing and talking and having a blast. Well dealers get a 20 minute break every hour. So my hour was up and the relief dealer came by to tap me out. I started to leave but one of the guys at the table said, “Ah, you don’t have to go do you? Stay a little longer.” “I’ll be back in 20 minutes,” I replied. “But what if we each gave you $5 to stay?” The table was full so we had 6 players at the table; that was $30 extra to stay at the table 20 minutes longer. “Well, if everyone at the table is willing to do that then I’ll stay.” I was seriously expecting no one to speak up and then I could go on my way, but the whole table agreed to do it. I was astonished. I looked at my relief and said, “Looks like I’m staying. Wanna get me on the next break?” My relief dealer looked surprise, “You’re kidding, right? You’re going to skip your break?” He had this look on his face that clearly said “I think you’re crazy.” I refused to go on break and I took the $30 and stayed for 20 extra minutes. That was the biggest compliment I think I’ve received on the table.
∾ Heather 2008
I was dealing blackjack in the high-limit area of the casino and I had 4 guys at my table playing the minimum of $25 per hand. Well this gentleman sits down at the table and starts to play $500 per hand. Out of nowhere he says, “I’ll give the first person who can answer me $100 if they can tell me the band that's playing now.” The guys at the table just sort of looked at him for a second and then one of them answered, “Beatles!” That guy got $100. It was so much fun! For a couple hours we were answering trivia and getting paid for our answers. I got one question right and got $500 (of course I had to put that in the toke box). We were all having a blast and luckily the cards were paying well too.
∾ Heather 2007